JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… (The Soul of a Man Edition)
Clarence “Baba Simba” Mollock, author of “Verbal Vacancy”
(Peace In The Storm Publishing)
Whenever I am asked about my “accent”, I relate the story of my speech impediment. Most find it difficult to believe. They are unaware of how I am still struggling to “speak well”. When I realized that I had a chance to publish my story, it was only then that I decided after all these years to write it down. I hope to inspire others to be persistent in their endeavors. More importantly never forget from whence you came.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write “Verbal Vacancy”?
Clarence “Baba Simba” Mollock: I got the idea to write “Verbal Vacancy” when a friend of mine suggested that I write the story of my speech impediment. I am a storyteller. My storyteller name is Baba Simba Mollock.
When I tell stories there is always someone who asks about my â€œaccentâ€. I try to explain that it is not an accent. I used to be severely tongue-tied. Most did not believe me, because, as they say, I speak so well. “Verbal Vacancy” is a reminder of what could have been. It was not inspiration â€“ it was perspiration! Now I can finally wipe my forehead.
JP: What has been your personal experience in being a part of The Soul of a Man Anthology?
CM: Being a part of The Soul of a Man Anthology has opened my eyes. I can now see that I can be more helpful by speaking out rather than keeping under the radar. When I read their stories, I realized that facing the truth about oneself can be painful, but you do not have to bare the pain alone. Meeting some of the â€œSoul Brothersâ€ showed me a side of caring that I had not experienced before.
JP: What is your most memorable moment of The Soul of a Man Anthology in terms of what has been expressed of you by someone who has had a chance to read this book?
CM: Persons who read my story would often tell me how they were reminded about their childhood. My immediate family realized that they, too, had stories to tell â€“ but, from another perspective. Childhood memories, growing up in the South, school stories once forgotten, these were just some of the tales told to me by young adults and my elders.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish “Verbal Vacancy”?
CM: In writing most of my stories I follow the process of â€œbackward mappingâ€. That is, I finish the story, then I list the events that led to the finish. I write an outline and review that outline several times before I begin to write the story.
When the story is written, I put it away for a couple of days before I proof read it. Lastly, I have someone else (whose suggestions I value) to read it. “Verbal Vacancy” took a couple of weeks from outline to completion. (Itâ€™s kind of easy when itâ€™s the story of your life!)
JP: What is next for Clarence “Baba Simba” Mollock?
CM: I do several storytelling performances a year. I tell about my personal life as well stories that I have read. With the help of Elissa Gabrielle, I can finally feel myself wanting to publish the many stories and poems that I have written since the age of thirteen. Yes, I can honestly say that I have kept a forty-seven year diary. I read a lot, and I did a lot of writing because I had so much to say when no one would listen to me.